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The Diamond in the Rough

Looking Feminine in a Man's Work World

      Because the work world was dominated by men for so long, anything feminine was seen as a weakness. The fashion trends of the 80's understood that by offering women big, bulky shoulder pads, high heels, even ties, to try and look more male. Today, women are much more respected in the work place. It is no longer a strike against you to "think like a woman." While professional dress code may still smack of masculinity, you can add touches of femininity to bring out the businesswoman in you.
 
professional lady with long hair       Accessories. Even the most strict of dress codes will allow for accessories. Add a touch of sparkle and class to a boring business suit with diamond earrings or a tennis bracelet. Add some color to your outfit with a scarf (which is easy to remove if the boss thinks it's not appropriate). Have simple hair clips and barrettes that will help soften the tough business facade.
 
      Color. Women have the luxury of being able to wear any color they want without scrutiny. The best way to add color to a stiff business suit is with your shell. A lime green turtleneck will look fantastic with a blue suit, or a hot pink blouse will really pop under a black blazer. The goal is to keep it simple.
 
      Patterns. If your dress code is little more lax, wearing a jacket with an animal print or a dress with a flower pattern can show off your style of femininity. Again, try to keep the pattern to one or two pieces while keeping the rest of the outfit plain. Mixing patterns is a hot trend right now, but can look unprofessional in the board room.
 
      Hair. As mentioned before, hair clips, barrettes, and headbands can add a lot to a business look. You can also add some feminine touches with how you style your hair. Gone are the days of long hair pulled back into a braid or strict bun. Have fun playing with different styles: curly, straight, pinned up, pony tail. The sky's the limit.
 
      Cosmetics. A polished, made-up face is always professional and feminine, but keep up with the latest trends in color. If you're still wearing the same eye shadow you wore in high school, it's time to get a make-over. Learn different techniques that will work for your face- and eye-shape. Avoid some of the younger trends, like colored mascara, for work. Also, keep your fingernails freshly manicured and polished. Some companies only allow certain colors of nail polish and no nail art, so know what's expected before shelling out good money for an unacceptable nail design.
 
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